The Lacuna (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Barbara Kingsolver

Harper, 9780060852573, 528pp.

Publication Date: November 3, 2009

List Price: 26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

November 2009 Indie Next List

“Moving from a setting in Mexico (in the company of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Trotsky) to the 1950s America of Red Scares and McCarthyism, The Lacuna tells the very personal and human story of young novelist Harrison Shepherd. Kingsolver does a masterful job creating a story with both scope and intimacy while also raising potent questions about freedom of expression and belief. Bravo!”
— Sheryl Cotleur, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
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Winter 2011 Reading Group List

“Kingsolver's first novel in nine years has a compelling, provocative storyline that takes place between Mexico City and the United States in the period from the 1930s to the 1950s. A young Mexican-American man finds himself caught up in the creative and political household of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. He mixes plaster for the muralist, types letters for Leon Trotsky, and befriends Frida. The Lacuna is a solid example of Kingsolver's expertise in combining politics and fiction. The philosophy of Communism and the innate need for freedom of expression raise their demanding fists in this young man's story, and they won't let the reader go.”
— Dianne Patrick, Snowbound Books, Marquette, MI
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Description

New York Times Bestseller

National Bestseller: Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle (#1), Chicago Tribune (#1), Denver Post (#1), Minneapolis Star-Tribune (#1), Publishers Weekly

Indie Next Bestseller (#1)

Best Book of the Year: New York Times Notable, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Kansas City Star

Prize-winning Author: National Humanities Medal, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Orange Prize for Fiction, Dayton Literary Peace Prize (Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award)

In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds—an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity will take readers to the heart of the twentieth century’s most tumultuous events.



About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.



Praise For The Lacuna: A Novel

“Rich…impassioned…engrossing…Politics and art dominate the novel, and their overt, unapologetic connection is refreshing.”
Chicago Tribune

“Masterful…a reader receives the great gift of entering not one but several worlds…The final pages haunt me still.”
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Compelling…Kingsolver’s descriptions of life in Mexico City burst with sensory detail—thick sweet breads, vividly painted walls, the lovely white feet of an unattainable love.”
The New Yorker

“A work that is often close to magic.... Much research underlies this complex weaving...but the work is lofted by lyric prose.”
Denver Post

“Shepherd’s story in Kingsolver’s accomplished literary hands is so seductive, the prose so elegant, the architecture of the novel so imaginative, it becomes hard to peel away from the book”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“[Kingsolver’s] playful pastiche brings to vivid life the culture wars of an earlier era...”
Vogue

“...True and riveting...Barbara Kingsolver has invented a wondrous filling here, sweeter and thicker than pan dulce, spicy as the hottest Mexican chiles, paranoid as the American government hunting Communists ”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“A sweeping mural of sensory delights and stimulating ideas about art, government, identity and history…Readers will feel the sting of connection between then and now.”
Seattle Times

“A sweeping narrative of utopian dreams and political reality…A stirring novel…intimate and pitch-perfect.”
San Diego Union-Tribune

“Kingsolver deftly combines real history and the life of the fictional protagonist…A sweeping tale.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The most mature and ambitious [novel] she’s written…An absorbing portrayal of American life…A rich novel [with] a large, colorful canvas…A tender story about a thoughtful man.”
— Washington Post

“A lavishly gifted writer... Kingsolver [has a] wonderful ear for the quirks of human repartee. The Lacuna is richly spiked with period language... This book grabs at the heartstrings...”
Los Angeles Times

“Breathtaking...dazzling...The Lacuna can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people...But the fuller value...lies in its call to conscience and connection.”
New York Times Book Review

“The novel achieves a rare dramatic power...Kingsolver masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[Kingsolver] hasn’t lost her touch...she delivers her signature blend of exotic locale, political backdrop and immediately engaging story line...teems with dark beauty.”
People

“[Kingsolver] stirs the real with the imagined to produce a breathtakingly ambitious book, bold and rich…hopeful, political and artistic. The Lacuna fills a lacuna with powerfully imagined social history
Kansas City Star


Coverage from NPR